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Fast Retailing powers on with raised year-end outlook

The power of Fast Retailing. On Thursday the Japan-based retail giant raised its full-year profit forecast by 13% on the back of super-strong growth across Asia.

The region’s biggest clothing retailer now expects operating profit for the year to end-August to hit ¥225bn ($2.11bn), from ¥200bn previously, beating analysts’ call for ¥221.4bn.

Fast Retailing said its group net profit for H1 through to end-February rose 7.1% on-year to ¥104.15bn. Group operating profit was up 30.5% to ¥170.49bn on sales of ¥1.19trn, up 16.6%.

Asia has become a major growth driver for its star Uniqlo casualwer brand as popularity grows in China and Southeast Asia, it said.

But Uniqlo’s domestic stature also remains strong. Same-store sales there in H1 rose 8.4%, boosted by demand for warm clothes during a particularly cold Japanese winter. Online sales at Uniqlo Japan jumped 31.6%, representing 7.5% of total sales.

Uniqlo, meanwhile, said it wants to more than double global sales made online from 9% currently by the year ending August 2023. Oh, and its target to become the world’s biggest brand is still firmly in sight.

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